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CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2004 Ford Explorer one of our worst vehicles on record. "Avoid like the plague" is putting it lightly.

The 2002-2005 Explorer has a very well-established record of expensive transmission failure at under 100k miles. The Explorer has an enclosed transmission which is typically replaced with a rebuilt transmission at a cost of almost $3,000.

Another common problem for the 2002-2005 Explorer is wheel bearing failure at around 90k miles, with a typical repair bill of $500 to $1000 depending on how many wheel bearings failed.

Adding insult to injury, the 2002-2005 Explorer also has a massive problem with the rear panel cracking. While it's a minor annoyance compared to transmission failure, ironically the crack usually goes right through the Ford logo.

6.4

fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
$458.00
Average Mileage:
73,960 miles
Total Complaints:
692 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. waiting for Ford to recall (279 reports)
  2. not sure (194 reports)
  3. replace panel (99 reports)
  4. possible class action lawsuit (47 reports)
  5. call Ford motor company 1-800-241-3673 (26 reports)
  6. do not buy Ford again (23 reports)
2004 Ford Explorer body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2004 Ford Explorer Owner Comments (Page 1 of 35)

problem #692

Sep 152008

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Crack developed on rear window panel. It appeared years ago and AI've noticed so many Explorers on the road with the same problem.

- , Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #691

Mar 312014

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

I have always babied this car, it is kept clean and maintained. I always have something going on with it... this time it is the cracked back panel under the window. Ridiculous!

- , Canton, OH, USA

problem #690

Oct 012013

Explorer Limited 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 178,000 miles

FROM THE SOUND OF ALL THE COMPLAINTS FORD SHOULD HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEM SOMEHOW. USUALLY YOU DON'T HEAR THAT MANY COMPLAINTS ABOUT SOMETHING IF A FLUKE. I LOVE MY EXPLORER AND WOULD LIKE TO SEE THIS TAKEN CARE OF.

- , Somerset, KY, USA

problem #689

Jan 012012

Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6L V8

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The crack is minor compared to other problems I've had, i.e.: 3 wheel bearings, transmission replacement, hatchback window hinges breaking, multiple fluid leaks. And absolutely no sympathy from Ford customer, no-service.

- , Neenah, WI, USA

problem #688

Jul 032014

Explorer LX 5.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

Back panel on rear hatch crack all way thru Ford sign and hinges worn too.

- , Atchison, KS, USA

problem #687

Jun 052011

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

I guess ditto to all others will suffice. Big ole crack down tailgate just like every other Explorer. Still on the road because its transmission still kinda works.

- , Rockland, ME, USA

problem #686

Jan 012010

Explorer Eddie Bauer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

They know this is an issue ... Ford needs to fix this problem.

- , Florence, KY, USA

problem #685

Aug 152011

Explorer Eddie Bauer 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 250,000 miles

This is the second time this has happened to my 2004 Ford Explorer. The first crack was replaced under warranty. The second one appeared just over a year later. I haven't had it fixed, what's the use? Every 2004 Ford Explorer you see on the road has a cracked rear panel below the rear glass. Built Ford Tough? Yeah right.

- , Pilot Mountain, NC, USA

problem #684

Dec 002008

Explorer Eddie Bauer XLT V-6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

After noticing the crack on the rear tailgate I started looking and at least a couple times a day I am behind an Explorer with the same problem. When I first noticed the problem and did check on the Ford website and learned they were not taking responsibility for the cracks! It is past time for me to purchase a new car but due to this problem and the problem I had with my transmission I will NOT be purchasing a Ford product.

- , Snellville, GA, USA

problem #683

Aug 112014

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,065 miles

ford used defective materials that allow moisture and air to build up behind the window panel.

just need the cracked rear panel repaired.

- , UNION, NEW JERSEY, USA

problem #682

Jan 012009

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Called Ford Customer Service twice. Both times they denied any knowledge of the problem. Went to a few dealers and body shops and was laughed at. Response was that every Explorer had it and Ford did not take responsibility.

- , Frankfort, IL, USA

problem #681

Jun 152008

Explorer Eddy Bauer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Crack is under Rear Window. I and my Wife have both been pinched and cut from the cracked door. In cold weather the crack squeaks loudly when driving. In the summer it seems to be less noisy. Almost every Explorer in our area has a cracked rear door. if you have one you tend to notice and watch for them. We Won't buy another one, way too many problems with this one.

- , Windsor, Colorado, USA

problem #680

Jan 052005

Explorer XLT 4.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 10,000 miles

I have this game I play when I see an Explorer of this vintage. Make myself a bet, crack or no crack. I must have looked at 100 or more Ford- Merc. And surenuf, there's the crack. Estimate in this area to fix = $500.00 . Haven't lost a bet yet!!!

- , Cambridge, WI, USA

problem #679

Jun 182010

Explorer Eddie Bauer 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I purchased the 2004 Explorer in 2006. Wish I would have known about the problem, wouldn't have purchased it. I was looking at GMC Envoy, decided to buy the Explorer. The crack looks bad. It happened in 2010. I hope it doesn't get worse and the entire panel falls off before I get rid of it. I have seen many cracked Explorer's in my area and Mountaineer's. I went to Montrose Ford, Akron,OH where I purchased the Explorer, they did nothing. The mechanic hardly said anything about it. Heard it costs about $500-700 ? to fix it. I'm not fixing it. I'm waiting for recall !!!! or get rid of it. I'm not buying another Ford! Also had a Ford Windstar that was junk but they had a recall on it and covered it.

- , Seven Hills, OH, USA

problem #678

Jul 022012

Explorer XLT 4.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

Way too much flex in the back door. Seen it happen to others so was being really careful.

Someone else closed it with uneven force, cracked straight away.

Come on Ford, this is not good enough.

- , Haymarket, Virginia, USA

problem #677

Sep 102010

Explorer V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Every Ford Explorer I see on the road has the same crack.

- , Graysville, TN, USA

problem #676

Dec 012011

Explorer XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

I think that Ford should fix the cracked rear panel. When you pay $45000.00 for a vehicle you would expect the company to honor the defect.

- , Norwalk, CA, USA

problem #675

May 092011

Explorer LXT 4000cc

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,000 miles

NEED TO BE MADE TO REPLACE WITH A NEW ONE FOR EVERY CAR LIKE THIS.

- , Turkey, NC, USA

problem #674

Apr 012008

Explorer XLT 4.0ltr

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

Ford needs to stand behind their product.The crack appeared just after the warranty was up, just simply from closing the rear gate.

- , Madison, AL, USA

problem #673

Jul 012009

Explorer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles

The cracked lift gate, should be something that Ford should have to fix. I hate how it looks and think eventually it will cause other problems.

- , Dallas, GA, USA

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